GWERU – MDC Alliance supporters in Gweru on Wednesday evening marched through the streets singing and denouncing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) hours after soldiers killed at least four of their colleagues in ugly clashes in Harare.
The flash mob surfaced just after 6.30PM in the Gweru Central Business District and caught the police unawares.
The group, numbering about 50 protestors, walked noisily on Main Street and Robert Mugabe Way before converging at the City’s Boogey Clock next to OK Supermarket, singing: “Zvikaramba toita zvenharo” (If it fails, we will use force).
Vendors who usually stay out late at the OK and Pick n Pay supermarkets could be seen packing their wares ready to vacate the CBD amid rising tensions. Pedestrians briskly walked past the scene.
Supermarkets such as Choppies along Main Street and FoodMart along Robert Mugabe Way were forced to close early in fear of the chaos that could breakout if the protests persisted late into the night.
The group took about 20 to 30 minutes before dispersing after anti-riot police responded to the scene with about four pick-up trucks with armed police and a water cannon truck. A truckload of soldiers was also seen in the area, and the troops appeared to be assessing the situation.
The protest followed a violent put down of a march by hundreds of MDC Alliance supporters in Harare, who accused the ZEC of “cooking” results and demanded the immediate release of the presidential election results for Monday’s vote.
Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Alliance, said he was confident had had won the election. But Paul Mangwana, Zanu PF’s legal secretary, told South Africa’s eNCA that their data from the nearly 11,000 polling stations showed them winning, although he would not say by how much.